Toughie No 3049 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie No 3049

Toughie No 3049 by Gila

Hints and tips by StephenL

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***/****

Hello everyone from a blue skies South Devon coast.

Gila, a setter who I’m always pleased to see in the Tuesday spot sets the ball rolling this week with a puzzle that wasn’t overly challenging but was a lot of fun nevertheless.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Emergency workers succeeded after initially facing their grief, somehow (12)
FIREFIGHTERS: Anagram (somehow) of the initial letter of Facing plus THEIR GRIEF followed by the abbreviation for Succeeded.

9a Promise support for advisory body (9)
COMMITTEE: A synonym of promise or pledge followed by a support seen on a golf course.

10a Quiet time consumed by total pandemonium in the end (5)
STUMM: Insert (consumed by) the abbreviation for Time into a synonym of total and add the final letter of pandemoniuM.

11a I love to devour two book collections as a whole (2,4)
IN TOTO: I from the clue and the letter representing love or zero go around the abbreviations for two sets of biblical books.

12a Bread yet to be cooked and given away (8)
BETRAYED: Anagram (to be cooked) of the preceding two words.

13a A lack of sentimentality ultimately seemed bad (2-4)
NO GOOD: Append the final letter of seemeD to a phrase (2,3) that could mean a lack of sentimentality or slush.

15a Military plane almost came down, creating a problem for the head (8)
MIGRAINE: Crosswordland’s favourite 3-letter (Russian) military plane plus all but the last letter of a synonym of came down in a weather sense.

18a Give up, having been broken by large loss of energy? (8)
BLACKOUT: Insert (broken by) the abbreviation for Large into a term (4,3) meaning give up or cede.

19a Put up with the return of some indecent peccadillos (6)
ACCEPT: Hidden and reversed in the clue, the appropriate indicators being some and return of.

21a Musical edit applied to the start of Samuel Barber’s work? (8)
HAIRCUTS: Although I clocked what was going on immediately this one did make me smile. Start with a well-known seventies musical, add a synonym of edit or modify and the initial letter of Samuel to give one of my favourite places.

23a Firm employing all but one family member (6)
COUSIN: An abbreviation for firm as a noun plus a synonym of employing or utilising without its last letter. Here’s Steely Dan at their most seedy.

26a Drink for a moment? (5)
SHAKE: Double/cryptic definition, both nouns.

27a State controlled by person working very hard (9)
BEAVERING: Insert a synonym of state as a verb into a synonym of a person (usually preceded by “human”).

28a Final part of detective feature getting broadcast (4,8)
HOME STRAIGHT: Two homophones  required here (getting broadcast), one of a famous fictional detective and one of a synonym of feature or characteristic.


1d Rebellious group loudly fighting (7)
FACTION: Follow the abbreviated musical instruction to play loudly with a word that could describe some fighting or combat.

2d Transfer from extremely respectable US university (5)
REMIT: The outside letters of RespectablE plus a university in the US.

3d Piece of fluff seen in a tuft of wool (9)
FLINTLOCK: Insert some fluff or fine fibres into word that could describe a tuft of wool that for me needed confirmation from the BRB.

4d Electronic tracking device set up for those attending an event (4)
GATE: The abbreviation for Electronic and a tracking device often strapped to the ankle of the nefarious are reversed (set up)

5d Meitner and Hahn’s first fantastic instrument (8)
THEREMIN: Anagram (fantastic) of MEITNER plus the initial letter of Hahn.

6d Pipe coming from river is eroding (5)
RISER: Hidden (coming from)

7d Important-sounding team needed for landing area (8)
QUAYSIDE: A homophone (sounding) of a synonym of important or crucial plus a synonym of team. Here’s one in my part of the world looking rather splendid

8d Tiny bit, say, becomes less visible when tipped over (6)
SMIDGE: If we reverse the solution we have an abbreviated synonym of say plus a word meaning becomes less visible or darkens.

14d Grip loses power holding a 6 tonne weight (8)
GRAVITAS: Remove the abbreviation for Power from the end of a synonym of grip and Insert (holding) A from the clue, the Roman numeral for six and the abbreviation for Tonne into the result.

16d Concept album — a corker — possibly featuring old piano (4,5)

ROCK OPERA: Anagram (possibly) of A CORKER around (featuring) the abbreviations for Old and Piano.

17d Appropriate occasional bits of studio furniture (8)
SUITABLE: Occasional or alternate letters of StUdIo plus an item of furniture

18d The man put in foremost command (6)
BEHEST: Insert a third person pronoun into a synonym of foremost or finest.

20d Rigid covers being used some time soon? (7)
TONIGHT: A synonym of rigid or stiff goes around (covering) an adverb that could mean being used or in operation.

22d Make a further attempt to follow constant set of principles (5)
CREDO: THe abbreviation for Constant then a term (2,2) which could mean make a further attempt or try again.

24d Taking an exam, perhaps, without it is smart (5)
STING: Remove “it” from a word that in a certain context (perhaps) describes the action of taking an exam.

25d Head of research not contributing to proposal? That’s stupid (4)
DAFT: Remove (not contributing) the initial letter of Research from a written proposal or preliminary piece of writing.

Very enjoyable, thanks Gila. My favourite was 21a. Which ones made it to your podium?





17 comments on “Toughie No 3049

  1. A very nice, not at all tough, Toughie, which was great fun from start to finish.

    8d is not in the BRB (which I thought was a requirement for Telegraph puzzles) but it is in Collins.

    I’ll go along with SL’s choice of favourite and select 21a.

    Many thanks to Gila and to SL.

  2. I, too, will go along with 21a as favourite, with a mention for 3d as runner-up. Along with today’s backpager, this must represent one of the more straightforward pair of puzzles for some time. This was still most enjoyable, however, and fun to complete.

    My thanks to Gila and our man in the South West.

  3. Really enjoyed this most gentle of introductions to the Toughie week. Witty clueing, great variety. I so want/wanted Meitner & Hahn to be the inventors of a musical instrument (or any instrument) even if, for obvious reasons, it wasn’t that one – they do sound as though they should be!

    Hon mentions to 19a (great lurker & surface), 3d, 8d & 16d (great surface & answer, which only improves on re-reading), with COTD for me to 28a, which I thought quite excellent.

    Thank you Gila, and also StephenL

  4. A very floughie Toughie – thanks to Gila and SL.
    I don’t remember having seen 10a spelled that way but it is in the BRB.
    My favourite was 18a.

    1. Don’t know about you, Gazza, but I kept trying in different ways to spell it as starting with a “sh” sound and only one m …. which got me nowhere and made that clue my LOI when it could be nothing else.

      1. Yes, the wordplay pointed to the spelling we have but in my view the word has to start with sh- or sch-.

  5. Wasn’t overly keen on 26a but, that apart, an enjoyable Tuesday puzzle.
    Podium places went to 27&28a plus 3,7&8d.

    Thanks to Gila and to Stephen for the review.

  6. I agree with all of the above, pretty much, especially Jane. I really didn’t like 26A at all! But ‘twas all light fun.

  7. What a marvellous start to the Toughie week. May not have been the hardest ever but it was certainly most enjoyable. Thanks to setter. COTD has to be the very clever 28A */**** for me

  8. As usual I found this harder than most especially in the SW but on the plus side I did manage to parse everything. I don’t usually pick an anagram as favourite but I’m going with 5d because I knew of it and about the inventor. Thanks to Gila and SL.

  9. With the exception of 10a, which I had to confirm (I know the German use but not the rare British), I found this quite a lark to work. I rather like Jane’s top 5 choices, with 28a taking the COTD medal. Good to see Gila back, too. Thanks to Stephen and G.

  10. A nice start to the week. Favourites were13a and 28a.
    Thanks to Gila and to SL – not least for reminding me to get that Steely Dan CD out again.

  11. Plenty of chuckles for us in this good fun puzzle.
    21a gets our vote for favourite.
    Thanks Gila and SL.

  12. Very enjoyable indeed & full of some excellent witty clues & great surface reads. As with the back-pager the SW provided what little head scratching there was – 26a my last in & like Jane didn’t overly care for it. 10a spelling new to me but confirmed after twigging the wordplay. Ticks aplenty- 19,21,27&28a plus 3,5,14&16d my top 4 of each.
    Thanks to Gila & Stephen – lost my 5 bob on what would be your music selection – thought something from Tommy for 16d nailed on. Re Cousin Dupree – Apparently the boys jokingly claimed that the Owen Wilson movie You, Me and Dupree (lousy) was ripped off from their song & Wilson deadpanned back that he’d never heard of the song nor this Mr Steely Dan & that he hoped that cleared things up so he could get back to work on his next movie Hey 19

    1. Haha, that’s a nice anecdote.
      I was actually spoilt for choice with music options today as originally thought I’d put something up from Toto or Sting but couldn’t resist the sleazy but very good Cousin Dupree.

  13. 1*/4* …
    liked 22D “Make a further attempt to follow constant set of principles (5)”

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